An ode to Manu Ginobili and male pattern baldness.
The news broke on Tuesday that Manu Ginobili is set to return for his 16th season in the NBA. This is by all means a great thing. Even as Manu approaches 40, he remains a huge part of the Spurs’ fabric, continues to have something in the tank when it matters, and remains an iconic figure in the male pattern baldness pantheon.
The story of his longevity, which we can all appreciate, is best told in some ways by the journey of his hairline.
First, play this for background music, and then scroll down.
This is Ginobili circa 2003, his second NBA season (in which the Spurs won the title, of course)
It wasn’t long before things began to take a turn. While Manu dominated with his creativity and unpredictable style off the Spurs’ bench, his coif didn’t always cooperate in full.
Here’s Ginobili in 2005, with fellow Argentine Fabricio Oberto, looking ready to front a sad Radiohead knockoff band.
This isn’t to belittle his playing exploits whatsoever. He’s a four-time champion and Sixth Man award winner, and will go down the greatest South American player ever, hands down. He’s a future Hall of Famer.
His career has spanned decades, and he valiantly navigated a receding hairline all the while. It’s become an endearing part of his on-court aesthetic and will look even better at the San Antonio YMCA in 20 years.
There are some things you just can’t fight in this life, though. Aging is one of them. We’re all going to get there someday. So let Manu’s persistence be an example to us all, and may we stay forever young. We’re glad he’s back for another season.
Still, it would be cool if he just went bald next season.